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Title 20

Displaying title 20, up to date as of 9/22/2021. Title 20 was last amended 8/27/2021.

Title 20

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§ 653.502 Conditional access to the Agricultural Recruitment System.

(a) Filing requests for conditional access -

(1) “Noncriteria” employers. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, an employer whose housing does not meet applicable standards may file with the ES office serving the area in which its housing is located, a written request for its clearance orders to be conditionally allowed into the intrastate or interstate clearance system, provided that the employer's request assures its housing will be in full compliance with the requirements of the applicable housing standards at least 20 calendar days (giving the specific date) before the housing is to be occupied.

(2) “Criteria” employers. If the request for conditional access described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section is from an employer filing a clearance order pursuant to an application for temporary alien agricultural labor certification for H-2A workers under subpart B of part 655 of this chapter, the request must be filed with the Certifying Officer (CO) at the processing center designated by ETA in guidance to make determinations on applications for temporary employment certification under the H-2A program.

(3) Assurance. The employer's request pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) or (2) of this section must contain an assurance that the housing will be in full compliance with the applicable housing standards at least 20 calendar days (stating the specific date) before the housing is to be occupied.

(b) Processing requests -

(1) SWA processing. Upon receipt of a written request for conditional access to the intrastate or interstate clearance system under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the ES office must send the request to the SWA, which, in turn, must forward it to the Regional Administrator.

(2) Regional office processing and determination. Upon receipt of a request for conditional access pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the Regional Administrator must review the matter and, as appropriate, must either grant or deny the request.

(c) Authorization. The authorization for conditional access to the intrastate or interstate clearance system must be in writing, and must state that although the housing does not comply with the applicable standards, the employer's job order may be placed into intrastate or interstate clearance until a specified date. The Regional Administrator must send the authorization to the employer and must send copies (hard copy or electronic) to the appropriate SWA and ES office. The employer must submit and the ES office must attach copies of the authorization to each of the employer's clearance orders which is placed into intrastate or interstate clearance.

(d) Notice of denial. If the Regional Administrator denies the request for conditional access to the intrastate or interstate clearance system he/she must provide written notice to the employer, the appropriate SWA, and the ES office, stating the reasons for the denial.

(e) Inspection. The ES office serving the area containing the housing of any employer granted conditional access to the intrastate or interstate clearance system must assure that the housing is inspected no later than the date by which the employer has promised to have its housing in compliance with the applicable housing standards. An employer however, may request an earlier preliminary inspection. If, on the date set forth in the authorization, the housing is not in full compliance with the applicable housing standards as assured in the request for conditional access, the ES office must afford the employer 5 calendar days to bring the housing into full compliance. After the 5-calendar-day period, if the housing is not in full compliance with the applicable housing standards as assured in the request for conditional access, the ES office must immediately:

(1) Notify the RA or the NPC designated by the Regional Administrator;

(2) With the approval of an appropriate SWA official, remove the employer's clearance orders from intrastate and interstate clearance; and

(3) If workers have been recruited against these orders, in cooperation with the ES agencies in other States, make every reasonable attempt to locate and notify the appropriate crew leaders or workers, and to find alternative and comparable employment for the workers.

[81 FR 56341, Aug. 19, 2016, as amended at 85 FR 628, Jan. 6, 2020]